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Cooking in Thailand

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"There’s something quite magical about learning about another culture’s cuisine. I love reassembling my sense of taste–understanding that sour isn’t always lemon. Instead it’s the tart pucker of tamarind, the floral grace of a tropical lime. Salt isn’t just salt–a far cry indeed from the Morton salt girl I grew up with in 1970s Chicago–but the complex umami of fish sauce, sun-baked flavor that touches all points of the tongue. Foreign spice-forward cuisines are layered. Taste is built carefully, as though pyramidal, with certain spices that create the base upon which the other flavors are built. In learning to cook these cuisines, the why often remains a mystery, even as the what and how eventually begins to shimmer into shape. The process of eating is, in turn, a series of wondrous uncoverings."

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Travel, FoodMelissa Leighty